objective establishing a quality base-line as perceived by hospital users, subject to intervention by the health-service restructuring, redesign and modernisation programme. method 4 021 users were interviewed face-to-face in august 2006 from a sample of hospitals from the programme using an instrument already validated for measuring health service users’ perception of quality (pecasuss). results the interviewees (38,7 % mean age, 70 % women, 60 % affiliated to the subsided system, 55 % from stratum 1 and 53 % attended in general consultation) scored mostly as good or very good 16 different aspects perceived of the quality of services. mean user quality score was 3,98 (0,8 sd) on a score ranging from 0,0 (bad) to 5,0 (excellent). conclusions quality was generally rated as good as perceived by people using the hospital programme. the humanised treatment received from the medical staff was given the highest score regarding quality of attention received by the interviewees.